Category Archives: africa

“Is Oprah Winfrey Medium Complexioned?” and Sammy Sosa

Someone googled “is oprah winfrey medium complexioned” six times and some how ended up on this blog.  Um…I don’t get it.  Somebody fill me in, is there some kind of controversy over Oprah’s skin color that I haven’t heard about?  Did she describe herself as medium complexed?  God forbid she say that she’s dark skinned, huh?  SMH, skin color is still a very polarizing concept…well, maybe it’s better said that it’s a polarizing reality in the Black community (Indian community, Latino community, West Indian community, etc).

I’m sure this is just a random occurance, but as an African American woman, I would not be surprised about a color controversy.  Look at the Sammy Sosa situation.  Clearly the man has used some sort of skin lightening treatment.  When you look at an older picture of his previously chocolate brown skin…why would you even have to wonder? I believe the claim that Sosa’s lightened skin in this photo is the result of a skin rejuvenation process and the bright TV lights at the awards show he was attending with his wife.

According to Sosa, who addressed the skin controversy with ESPNDeportes.com’s Enrique Rojas, he is using a cream that “whitens” his skin. Mostly, Sosa said, it’s a skin softener.

Sosa is from the Dominican Republic.  I’ve seen it noted several times that many Dominican women (and many people around the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and yes, here in the US) Dominican women straighten their hair, which some experts say is a direct result of a historical learned rejection of all things black.  This rejection, seen in many diasporan cultures, has also manifested in the use of skin lightening creams.

Fair-Skin Fashion Boosts Sales of Whitening Creams in India

Sosa is symptomatic of global self-hatred

Indian men hope skin cream will change their status, fortune

Skin-lightening creams face FDA ban: Dermatologists defend treatment…

Cream labelled ‘racism in a bottle’

The Skin Bleaching Phenomenon – Commentary

This is not an isolated incident of self hate.  Sosa is just dark skinned person dealing with issues of self hate that are rooted in the concept that the closer your skin tone is to white, the more beautiful/handsome you are.  He’s just assimilating to the value system he’s been taught to respect.  That racist system of thought devalues dark skin, period.  It is not celebrated.  It is not desirable.  Therefore, I say the correct response is education and understanding, not ridicule.

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Friday Question: Do African Americans care about what is going on in Africa?

In light of the famine, civil war, genocide, food shortages, and civil/political instability on the mother continent I raise this question”

Do African Americans care about what is going on in Africa? If you feel that the answer is yes, please note how we show that we care.

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Racism goes beyond lynching [racial slur here]

An article from South African writer Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya aka the F-Word aka one of my new heroes.

From Mail and GuardianRacism goes beyond lynching niggers
One Sunday afternoon the news editor at my previous paper sent me to cover a dog show at Gilloolies Farm, east of Johannesburg. When I got there the woman behind the ticket counter ignored me and routinely focused on people who came after me.

When she did pay attention to me she asked me: “What are you here to deliver?” In her mind the idea of a black guy enjoying the sight of dogs jumping through hoops was a bridge too far.

The woman and the people she paid attention to were white. I was (and still am) black. I called her action racist and people who commit racist actions, racists.

I might have been wrong. Perhaps the lady at the dog show is a nice woman who has never said an unkind word about people of other hues.

But that is where part of the problem lies.

Somehow we have developed the idea that unless you lynch niggers in a plantation or bang the heads of uppity black detainees against the prison walls until they die you are not really a racist.

Hold on, not even beating up darkies qualifies as racism. As one Pumas rugby team supporter, JR Nagel, told The Times when asked his opinion about the team fielding Gert van Schalkwyk (not to be confused with the Kaizer Chiefs midfielder of the same name) who is on appeal after he and his friends were convicted of beating a black man to death. “We all, even myself … my chommies [friends] and I have beaten up a couple of kaffirs. You are young, that’s what you do. In those days your dad told you that’s kwaai [cool].

“The only reason this is an issue is because it’s a kaffir who died and it was a white laaitie [boy] who hit him,” Nagel said.

Granted, the last statement reflects the unique idiocy of the speaker rather than a general trend of thought. Still, the unfortunate reality is that there is simply too little respect by our white compatriots for black people’s sensitivities to colonialism and racism. Or they are just too shy to show it. Continue reading

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Eminem to perform at Mandela’s Birthday

Yes, it sounds like a weird joke, but the Sun is reporting that Eminem is slated to perform at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday party this summer.

Last month I told how the gig organizer, QUEEN rocker BRIAN MAY, was trying to tempt the controversial star out of retirement for the June 27 gig in London’s Hyde Park.

And not-so-Slim Shady has now agreed to dust down his mic.

An insider revealed: “We’re amazed to have Eminem on board. We wanted some of the greatest artists from recent times and Eminem was on the list.”

Of all the places to make a comeback…I don’t understand.

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Clinton camp pushes photo of Obama in African dress, turban

Clinton’s camp knows that the average American doesn’t know if what Obama is wearing in this photo is traditional Pakistani garb or traditional African dress! They see turban, turban, turban! We know that for a lot of Americans turban = terrorist. This is not brain surgery, it’s racism and stereotyping! Now, I know there is nothing wrong with a turban, but the reasons behind this photo being released are obvious. This is a very juvenile move. Desperate!!!

Here is the story from SHM – RACIST or just mischievous politics? That is the question being asked after the Barack Obama campaign accused the Hillary Clinton camp of circulating via the internet a photo of Senator Obama in African dress.

With just a week to go until the make-or-break primaries in Texas and Ohio, the reaction from the Obama camp was swift.

“On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election,” the campaign manager, David Plouffe, said.

The photo, taken in 2006, shows Obama dressed in traditional garb during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in north-eastern Kenya. The website The Drudge Report, which broke the story, said the image came from the Clinton campaign.

“Everybody knows that whether it’s me or Senator Clinton, or Bill Clinton, that when you travel to other countries they ask you to try on traditional garb that you have been given as a gift,” Senator Obama later told a San Antonio, Texas, radio station.

“The notion that they would try to use this to imply in some way that I’m foreign, I think is, you know, unfortunate,” he told another station in Dallas.

The Clinton campaign issued a response but did not deny staff had circulated the photo.

“Enough,” the campaign manager, Maggie Williams, said of the Obama outrage. “If Barack Obama’s campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.”

The Clinton campaign was forced to let a volunteer go in December after he suggested in an email that Barack Obama was a Muslim. Who comes out worse out of this latest verbal jousting remains to be seen but the Obama camp’s tactics of pushing back against any slur seem to have been effective in the past. Given the sensitivities in the race, it just might be that Senator Clinton is the one who is most damaged. It underscores the difficulty she faces in tackling Senator Obama.

Campaigning in Ohio on Monday, Senator Obama packed out two campus arenas, each with capacity for 13,000. The crowds have become increasingly large and raucous as each day goes by. There were further signs that Senator Clinton is in real trouble in both Texas and Ohio and Senator Obama has raced ahead of her in national polls.

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Michael Jackson’s kids have a Black Nanny

Update 6/26/09: The King is Dead.  Michael Jackson aka “Your favorite artist’s favorite artist” died yesterday, 6/25/09, in Los Angeles, CA.  A Legend.  An Icon.  The KING of Pop.  We love you Michael.  Never can say goodbye…


Now, that being said…please post kind words and tributes to Michael in the comment box in the future.  Let’s end this discussion on his children and pray for them instead.

Update 4/24/09: I almost closed this post because there have been so many comments on it.  Damn, you guys have been posting since 2/13/08.  Why hasn’t one of you developed a blog around this?  I just might have to.  I’m sure the Google Ad revenue would be huge.  Maybe I’ll call it “Is Michael Black?”  Sigh, ok I’m going to leave the comments open for now…I guess.  Carry on.

Maybe I was supposed to know this, given the fact that Michael Jackson has been in the news a lot lately with the 25th Anniversary of Thriller…but I’ve been busy living life. I understand that he may face foreclosure on his Neverland Ranch for $23 million secured by Fortress Investments. Lot’s going on in Michael’s world too, huh? If it wasn’t for the Floacist’s Blog, I would never know of MJ’s former Black nanny (Floacist hit me with an update, below), Grace Rwaramba, a Rwandan native.

Photo: NVision

Allegedy, those 2 white children in the photo are supposed to be MJ’s. I don’t mean to be rude but I don’t think that Vitiligo has an effect on one’s sperm. Continue reading

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Foster Parents Reluctant to Adopt Dark-Skinned Kids

Arabs have Dark-Skinned vs. Light-Skinned issues too, huh?  I’ll add to them to the list of Blacks and Indians.  Must be all the African slaves and concubines in their ancestory.

ArabNews.com –  If you are an abandoned child seeking foster parents, your chances of being adopted are much higher if your skin is lighter, according to Najla Rida, the head of the Makkah branch of the Um Al-Qura Charity Organization.

The problem is that most orphans are not fair skinned. Rida says about 85 percent of them have African features and are unwanted by Saudi adoptive families who perceive these children to be outsiders.

“Their looks indicate that they are not of Saudi origin,” she said. “They are the children of illegal residents of Makkah.”

Rida says adoptive families make it clear that they aren’t interested in these children and specifically ask for light-skinned tots. She warn that this phenomenon of leaving these children — widely perceived to have been dumped by illegal aliens on the Saudi street or the product of extramarital affairs — will eventually exacerbate social problems

“These children grow up to hate Saudi society,” she said. “It will take us a long time to rehabilitate them. These children are the result of immoral relationships, poverty and lack of religious values.” Continue reading

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